Purpose: This study explores the motivations for sharing personal information and self-disclosure by mentally ill people in public and private Facebook groups. The purpose of the self-disclosure comparison between public and private groups is to understand how mentally ill people use different kinds of online communication channels in order to advance their goals and needs concerning their illness. Design/methodology/approach: The study was carried out using questionnaires distributed in Facebook groups for people with mental illnesses. A total of 123 full and valid questionnaires were received. Statistical analysis was performed on the data. Findings: Findings revealed that there are no significant differences between public and private groups concerning motivations for self-disclosure and that both types of groups create a safe and supportive place for mentally ill people. However, findings suggest that participants in public groups tend to display higher social involvement than those who participate in private groups. Originality/value: This is a path breaking study on the entire subject of discourse of people with mental illnesses in private Facebook groups and its importance is derived from this. The study clarified and emphasized the importance of the sense of belonging to a community. Moreover, findings encourage people with mental illnesses to make use of social media channels to meet their social and personal needs.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- Mentally ill people
- Public and private Facebook groups
- Social media